verb (used with object), nul·li·fied, nul·li·fy·ing.
  1. to render or declare legally void or inoperative: to nullify a contract.
  2. to deprive (something) of value or effectiveness; make futile or of no consequence.

Origin of nullify

First recorded in 1585–95, nullify is from the Late Latin word nūllificāre to despise. See nulli-, -fy
Related formsnul·li·fi·er, nounre·nul·li·fy, verb (used with object), re·nul·li·fied, re·nul·li·fy·ing.un·nul·li·fied, adjective

Synonyms for nullify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nullifies

Contemporary Examples of nullifies

Historical Examples of nullifies

  • But of the smoke which nullifies and destroys all these things, not a word!

  • On the contrary, warning is given precisely against this treacherous and scandalous restriction which nullifies the commandment.

  • Whether this upsets a theory, nullifies a sentimental protest, or merely stands as an exception, I should not dare guess.

    The Land of Footprints

    Stewart Edward White

  • This nullifies the treaty in all that relates to fugitive slaves guilty of crimes against their masters.

  • This is the opinion of South Carolina; and on the strength of that opinion she nullifies the laws.

British Dictionary definitions for nullifies


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to render legally void or of no effect
  2. to render ineffective or useless; cancel out
Derived Formsnullification, nounnullifier, noun

Word Origin for nullify

C16: from Late Latin nullificāre to despise, from Latin nullus of no account + facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for nullifies



1590s, from Late Latin nullificare "to esteem lightly, despise," literally "to make nothing," from Latin nullus "not any" (see null) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Related: Nullified; nullifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper